Tag Archives: Imagine Cup World Finals

Satya Nadella crowns the 2015 Imagine Cup World Champions

For 13 years, Microsoft Imagine Cup has inspired and challenged student developers worldwide to master new skills, build strong teams and bring entire technology projects from concept to completion. As a company originally founded by students, Microsoft believes in the power of young people connecting with technology to dream big, build creatively and boldly bring their ideas to life. Through our Microsoft Imagine program, students of all ages and skill levels get the world’s best coding tools and online learning at no cost, so they can build their future now.

On Friday, a brilliant team of students showed CEO Satya Nadella just what they’re capable of when he crowned Team eFitFashion of Brazil as the winning team of the 2015 Imagine Cup World Championship during a live broadcast and in front of an audience of 5,000 students, judges, partners and Microsoft employees at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

Team eFitFashion’s project, Clothes For Me, is a marketplace for custom tailored clothes based on a person’s unique body size and shape.

“All of you represent that passion to dream the impossible and make it possible. I want you to keep that dream alive,” Nadella told the Imagine Cup competitors Friday. “What you started at this competition is going to grow, because of your passion, your dreams, your ability to take it forward and your ability to learn on the way. It’s such a pleasure for me to see the passion and the innovation you have demonstrated today.”

Our panel of distinguished judges – Thomas Middleditch, star of the hit HBO show “Silicon Valley;” Alex Kipman, inventor of HoloLens; and Jens Bergensten, lead developer of Minecraft – had their work cut out for them as they decided between the top three Imagine Cup teams, narrowed down from tens of thousands of teams from across the globe.

Over this past week, our judges chose a first-place winner in each of the three Imagine Cup competition categories: Team IzHard of Russia for Games, Team eFitFashion of Brazil for Innovation and Team Virtual Dementia Experience of Australia for World Citizenship. The first-place teams then competed in front of the world to take home the Imagine Cup and to receive a private meeting with Satya Nadella, our CEO.

The 2016 season of Imagine Cup launches today, as well, and it’s never too early for students to start dreaming up their next projects and getting prepared by visiting our website.

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We’re finding talented student developers at younger and younger ages, too – last week we shared the results of a new competition for students as young as 9 years old, and the work they did was impressive. We’ll have more opportunities for younger students coming in August and continuing all season long.

When Bill and Paul started Microsoft in college, they were talented and fearless. We see that spirit every day in the students who learn to code through Microsoft Imagine and go on to compete in the Imagine Cup. Working with students like these is an honor and a profound responsibility, one that Microsoft cherishes. Especially on days like today, when we see the incredible work students can do when they connect with technology and dream big.

Here are all the winners of the 13th annual Microsoft Imagine Cup!





  • Winners of the Imagine Cup trophy and a private meeting with Satya Nadella: Team eFitFashion, for its project Clothes For Me, Winner of the Innovation category


Games Category:

  • First Place, $50,000 prize and PAX Boot Camp: Team IzHard (Russia, “Ovivo”)
  • Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team Kuality Games (The Netherlands, “Bounce ‘em Up”)
  • Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team T.H.I.E.F. (China, “Lost Shadow”)

Innovation Category:

  • First Place, $50,000 prize and Microsoft Ventures Boot Camp: Team eFitFashion (Brazil, Clothes for Me)
  • Second Place, $10,000 prize: Team NoObs (Azerbaijan, Spinal)
  • Third Place, $5,000 prize: Team Siymb (United Kingdom, Siymb)

World Citizenship Category:

Ability Award:

Microsoft Student Partner of the year:

  • Jason Chee of Singapore



Hands-on games judging at Imagine Cup World Finals gives competitors advice and encouragement

The BOMON team from Korea showing their game, “Under Bed” to judge Adam Sessler (Photo credit: Joe Malinao / Filmateria)

The BOMON team from Korea showing their game, “Under Bed” to judge Adam Sessler (Photo credit: Joe Malinao / Filmateria)

While it was warm and sunny on Microsoft’s Redmond campus Thursday morning, inside the tents set up on the Commons’ soccer fields, it was cool and dark – perfect conditions for the continuing competition of the Imagine Cup World Finals – the hands-on judging round.

Lots of sound effects filled the tent – many emanating from the many games presented by the finalists. But in addition to those electronic beeps and dings, human voices in unison could also be heard above the din: “1-2-3!” – followed by giggles and laughter.

The BOMON team from South Korea, worked as a unified group in presenting their game, “Under Bed” to judges in their category, who arrived one-by-one for 15 minute sessions with each of the teams. Whenever judges had questions for them, they either answered together, or worked together to translate what the judge asked.

And, they all wore pajamas as their team uniform since their game is all about a little girl exploring the “Dust Kingdom” under her bed.

This is the second day of the Imagine Cup World Finals. These 125 students on 34 teams from as many countries had traveled thousands of miles, worked for months on their projects (and pitches) and triumphed over others in their category for this moment in front of the judges. At stake is more than $1 million in travel, cash prizes, hands-on mentorship opportunities and a private audience with Microsoft Founder and Technology Advisor Bill Gates.

BOMON means “spring is coming” – a name this team chose “to give people a fresh feeling of spring.” And their game, despite being about the world beneath a bed, was full of bright colors and whimsical cutesy characters (even the monsters). Their booth also had a full-color mini diorama of the game and its characters, as well as stickers and brochures.

They had their game set up so judges could try it on a tablet, a PC laptop and using a controller. They showed judges their tutorial, which explained the story of Judy and her bunny friend Toto, and how they explore Dust Land, Mold Garden, the Dust Factory and the Dust Queen Palace.

As they counted off the jumps – “1, 2, 3!” with judge Adam Sessler (who hosted TV programs like “X-Play” and “Gamespot TV” about videogames for 15 years), he gave them feedback, such as making a more exciting jumping motion (you can’t always have a live cheering section) and targeting all ages for the game, which now targets kids ages six to 10.

“He really liked our game,” said Boyoung Kim, 23, wearing Hello Kitty pajamas.

The next judge who saw them, award-winning producer Stephanie Brash, let them take her through the game, asking questions along the way about how long they’ve been working on the game, how it ends and how they’re going to pay for it. She also encouraged them to pursue merchandise that could be sold with the game, such as toys and pajamas.

“I’m jumping! I love to go up,” Brash said, of the game

BOMON, altogether: “Up, up, up!”

“I gotta go fast!” After clearing the level, Brash exhaled. “Whew.”

BOMON cheered: “Yeah!”

“It’s a very cute game and a very good demonstration,” Brash told them, as she left. “They’re so enthusiastic!”

Alexey Pajitnov, the judge who’s best known for creating “Tetris” gives pointers to the Genesis team from Greece (Photo credit: Joe Malinao / Filmateria)

Alexey Pajitnov, the judge who’s best known for creating “Tetris” gives pointers to the Genesis team from Greece (Photo credit: Joe Malinao / Filmateria)

Around the corner from BOMON, the four-man Genesis Game Studios team from Greece met with Alexey Pajitnov, the Russian game designer famous for creating “Tetris.”

They showed him “Dementia – Tales of Blackthorn Manor,” an online tactical turn-based, role-playing game. Each player chooses one of 12 characters to explore “The Blackthorn Manor,” a creepy old house filled with deadly secrets. At some point during the game, one explorer will trigger a scenario called a “curse.” When the curse is revealed, one of the explorers becomes a traitor who turns on the others. “Dementia” has 30 different curses, each with their own lore and unique gameplay.

At one scene, Pajitnov told them, “There should be some kind of explanation here,” and would give advice as he played the game, including marketing tips and testing on more players. He also suggested beefing up the multiplayer options so that users could store a game for others to upload and play against.

“He really liked our game, I think,” said Manos Chatziioannou. “That’s a big thing for us. He made ‘Tetris’!”

Alexey Pajitnov, the judge who’s best known for creating “Tetris” gives pointers to the Liaison Team from Brazil (Photo credit: Joe Malinao / Filmateria)

Alexey Pajitnov, the judge who’s best known for creating “Tetris” gives pointers to the Liaison Team from Brazil (Photo credit: Joe Malinao / Filmateria)

Pajitnov visited the Liaison Team from Brazil next, who presented him with their eponymous game. It’s a platformer with action and puzzle elements that focuses on the friendship of a boy called Lug and his faithful dog, Savior.

The game introduces a game mechanic based on darkness: If the characters are together, everything will be fine, but sometimes they will be forced to be separated and that’s when the darkness mechanic will trigger, new pathways, along with many new dangers.

Pajitnov let game designer Luiz H. Monclar take the reins and guide him through “Liaison.” Like he did with Genesis, he offered his advice.

He recommended they run usability tests and give players choices of dog breeds to better personalize the experience.

“This is the part where darkness enters the game,” Monclar said. “Darkness will disappear when they’re together. They can’t be too far apart.”

Pajitnov suggested improving the game by pumping up the emotional impact of the effects.

“I think you need to include as much visual effects in that transfer as you can,” Pajitnov said. “You do a very good job with features and lighting, but you should slow everything down in that moment. I would love your game much more if you can push my feelings more. You have everything else.”

Winners in the Games category, as well as Innovation and World Citizenship, will be announced Friday morning at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.

Athima Chansanchai
Microsoft News Center Staff